June 27 – Tall Tree Music Festival

27 06 2011

Beautiful scenic vistas and high energy Victoria music. In essence, that was this years Tall Tree Music Festival in Port Renfrew. On any other weekend I would have no qualms about hiking 3 hours to see the view on top of Browns Mountain. But combine that view with a diverse musical soundtrack and hundreds of enthusiastic festival goers, and it makes it that much better.

The organizers and volunteers were great, and the overall vibe of the festival was very chill with everyone helping out to make sure people had the best experience possible.

I saw a lot of bands I hadn’t seen before: Mindil Beach Markets, Sunday Buckets, Jets Overhead, Vince Vaccaro and Quoia. The festival had a very community feel. The artists hung out with everyone in the crowd after sets, and by the end of the festival you were recognizing many more friendly faces.

Hats off to radiocontact for a smashing success. And I’m already looking forward to next year!


June 20th – Tall Tree Interviews & Brian Thomas

18 06 2011

We’re a week away from the 2nd annual Tall Tree Music Festival in Port Renfrew!

I got together with Mike Roma today, one of the events organizers (and Quoia band member) to get the low down on Tall Tree. Basically, its going to be two days of rockin Vancouver Island music performed in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, Port Renfrew’s wild and rugged West Coast. We talked about the festival’s emphasis on environmental awareness,  some of the cool art installations that they’ll have, and why this festival is like no other you will go to this summer.

Playing for the first time at Tall Tree is Carmanah, a local Victoria band whose music will sooth your ears with their melodious “Folk Rock World” tunes.  On a sunny Thursday in the Fernwood square, Pat and Laura talked about how some of the band members met (at last years Tall Tree!), and how they came up with their name (a 10 hour mud-wrestling competition, winner decides….not, but that would be unreal!). This is an up-in-coming band you do not want to miss!

Aaaaand last…but not least (and unrelated to Tall Tree), is Brian Thomas, an expert in the the financial and insurance-related aspects of global climate change. He worked with a wide range of organizations as a climate consultant, such as: Swiss Re, Meryl Lynch, The Nature Conservancy, and the City of New York; he is also the author of Climate Change adaptation in 2010, as well as author of the Carbon Based blog.

Over the phone from Connecticut, we discussed the economic ramifications caused by increasingly recurring climate disasters, and why global insurance companies are the first to pay head to these events.

Brian provided an interesting insight into an aspect of global climate change that we don’t often hear about.

Music being played this Monday?…all Tall Tree artists…Ohhhya.

Tune into Wild Orphans Monday at 1:00, on CFUV 101.9 FM to listen in!

June 13 – Growing Opportunities

18 06 2011

A few weeks ago I caught up with Craig Evans from the Growing Opportunities Farm Co-op in the Cowichan Valley. Growing Opportunities is a Non-Profit agricultural co-operative situated on farmland just out of the city of Duncan. The co-op provides opportunities for people to learn farming skills, share knowledge, and grow wonderfully fresh produce. The produce is sold at various markets and the profits all go back to the co-op.

In the middle of large rows of kale plants, with worker bees from some nearby beehives flying  around us, we discussed the importance of co-operative forms of agricultural production and issues of food security. Because Vancouver Island is reliant on shipped in produce (that has to get ferried across the Salish Sea), and as oil prices continue to rise, people are becoming more concerned about food security.

Craig is a founding member of the Nanaimo Community Gardens, and a founding member of Growing Opportunities. Tune in Monday at 1:00 to hear some of Craig’s insights!

For more info on the co-op check this out:


June 6 – Lucas Myers

3 06 2011

Further UNO Fest interviews…

Sometimes when the going gets tough, all you can really do is build a deck…or so the non-existent saying that I just made up goes. In Deck: How I instigated Then Overcame an Existential Crisis through Home Improvement, Lucas Myers plays a mid-aged Day-Trader who gets fired from his downtown Vancouver job, and  decides to move with his children to BC’s interior to live as “radical homemakers.” This of course means making everything by hand – from soap to produce – and living completely off the land.

Being a socially awkward, mathematically inclined city fellow does not help Lucas out in the country, and he soon finds that the task at hand is larger than he imagined. Nevertheless, he becomes obsessed with building a deck that he sees as a symbol of his spiritual rebirth.

On stage Lucas ACTUALLY BUILDS a deck, getting audience members (including myself) to come up and help drill in the planks. This interactive format thrilled those in attendance, and the play was a hit.

Lucas sat down with Pat and myself after the play to chat about the performance, as well as discuss the current theater industry in rural BC.

May 30 – UNO FEST!…continued…

1 06 2011

What a week! The acting and quality of production have been standout throughout this festival. Justin Carter wowed audiences with his autobiographical performance in Son of Africville, and Mike Daisy held two packed crowds at the Metro theater in apt attention as he wove completely different and intriguing monologues over consecutive nights.

A special thanks to Sammie and the UNO festival organizers for making it such a great experience and putting on one hell of a festival!

May 23 – UNO FEST!

1 06 2011

For the next 10 days myself and Pat will be going to as many spoken word/comedy/drama performances as possible, and will be airing interviews with the actors for the next 2 episodes.

The performances are as varied as the actors themselves. Kicking off the festival are Morgan Brayton’s, Racoonery!, and TJ Dawe’s, Lucky 9. In Racoonery!, Brayton plays a variety of characters from a frenetic and excitable 5 year old who slowly loses control as an ice cream truck drives by without her being able to find money to purchase an ice cream, to a catty socialite who performs a narcissistic and revealing  monologue in the womens washroom, ranting about a co-worker she feels has wronged her over the years.

In Lucky 9 TJ Dawe describes his own personal journey in dealing with childhood trauma, and the books and people that influenced him along the way.

UNO Fest shows are selling out so contact the Intrepid Theater box office to get your tickets today!

April 18 – Easter Seals Mexico Bike Trip & Patrick Burwell, “2 Pianos 4 Hands”

1 06 2011

Its biking season! Sam Wade is biking from Victoria to Mexico to raise money for Shawnigan Lake Easter Seals Camp. Fresh off biking across Canada, Sam’s engine (bad metaphor) is still revved and hes ready to get on his way. I sat down to chat with Sam about why Easter Seals Camp means so much to him, what he’s learned from working there, and how he’s preparing for this epic journey!

“Sing us a Song, your the Piano Man!” – Playing this week at the Belfry theater is 2 Piano’s 4 hands, a coming age story about two burgeoning piano stars going through the ups and downs of intensive piano instruction. A heartfelt story filled with humor and wit, this is a must see production. I sat down with actor Patrick Burwell to hear first hand what it was like performing 2 Piano’s 4 Hands, and how his own piano development oddly mirrored the play’s fictional characters.